Covid-19 : Taking the Vaccine

It has been nearly a year since I have been able to give my parents a hug. We have had an exponential rise in the number of deaths due to Covid-19, and as time has gone by we have lost loved ones and friends. A world-wide effort has gone into developing vaccines that will protect and limit the devastating effects of Covid-19.

I was over the moon when my parents received their text message to book their vaccine. As members of the Windrush Generation they were keen to be vaccinated because they had seen the high numbers of deaths, especially amongst Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities. They had also experienced just how unwell and incapacitated they had been when they were very ill with Covid-19.

Arriving at the Waldron Centre, New Cross.

When I received my text to book my appoint I don’t think I have ever been so happy or so keen to have an injection. I booked to have mine at the Waldron Centre, New Cross the following day. The appointments were in 10 minute slots. I was extremely impressed in how well organised they were and they had a lot of welcoming volunteers. I was greeted at a hand sanitizer desk and gave my name. Directed to where I should sit by another volunteer. As I sat waiting I noticed that every time someone left their seat a volunteer would sanitizer the chair. The level of attention to keeping the waiting area sanitised was so reassuring.

With Sandra Adefiranye who was volunteering that day.

When my time slot was called there was no rush, individuals went one at a time to the next area to wait and then be shown where to sit before being called in for the injection. I was asked a few questions about my health which was also reassuring as it made getting the injection more personal and not like an injection factory. The injection itself was straight forward. They then checked the time and gave me a sticker with a timestamp of 15 minutes later. I was then directed to another waiting room. Once again after being directed by a volunteer as to where to sit I noticed again, that as soon as a seat was vacated it was quickly sanitised. After 15 minutes I made my way to the exit which was part of the one way directional path through the Waldron Centre, where another volunteer asked how I felt and gave me an “I’ve been vaccinated” sticker. I proudly wore my sticker home.

I am really pleased that I have been vaccinated. It has been one week and I have had no side effects at all from the vaccination.

So what difference has it made? I still follow all my practices I had before having the vaccine. I stay at home, wear a mask, wash and sanitise my hands. I feel reassured that my immunity will build up over the coming weeks, I can share my experience and I encourage all to have the vaccine when they are called to do so, especially those from the Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities. I can look forward to the day when I can hug my parents. I can look forward to the day when we have all had the vaccine, and to when we can all give each other a comforting hug.

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